Archives for November, 2009

Weekend Fun at the Manor

[More blog entries about Sweden, photography, manor; Närke, Askersund, foto, herrgård.] I was headed for a lonely November weekend with wife & daughter abroad and son with his mom. So I rounded up three friends (though Paddy K was kept from coming along at the last minute by a big meltdown at work), loaded my…

Current Archaeology 237

Current Archaeology’s December issue offers one of the mag’s signature feature write-ups of new books, this time The Complete Ice Age: how climate change shaped the world by Brian Fagan et al. Interesting stuff, where the following passage on the coming of our own species into Ice Age Europe struck me as particularly illuminating: “In…

Ancient Remains Outlined in Street Pavement

Today’s schedule was 5 hours on trains to Lund, 6 hours in Lund giving a talk, and 5 hours on trains home. In Lund I saw the outline of a very early church foundation picked out in the overlying street pavement near the Cathedral. And I was reminded of other archaeology I’ve seen thus outlined:…

Early Medieval Magnates Talk in Lund

A few months ago I finished a book manuscript on elite settlement and political geography in Östergötland, one of Sweden’s core provinces, in the period AD 375-1000. In countries that have experienced an infestation of Romans, this era is known as the Early Middle Ages. In Scandyland we call it the Late Iron Age. Researching…

Wesa Perttola Makes Great Maps

In Helsinki a few weeks back I made the acquaintance of my charming colleague Wesa Perttola. Now he has made excellent distribution maps for my forthcoming Östergötland book. Above is the scatter of 9th and 10th century elite indicators (big black dots) against a background of 6th-8th century indicators (smaller grey dots) and farms named…

Why Malt the Barley for Beer?

Dear Reader, usually the deal here on Aard is that I tell you what to think and you reply, zombielike, “Yes… Master… Kill… Kill…”. But today, let’s turn the tables. I’m going to ask a question about a simple scientific-culinary matter that has baffled me for decades. And I hope someone out there knows enough…

Like an Elephant

My 6-y-o daughter usually sleeps really solidly over in her room and is not easily woken by sounds she’s accustomed to. But this morning she told me over breakfast, “Dad, you and Mom made the weirdest noises last night and woke me. First Mom kind of whined and sounded as if she was gonna sneeze.…

Laptop Day

I’m enjoying one of my infrequent laptop days, that is, days during which it actually makes sense for me to tote such a device around. I type these words from the Konradsberg campus of the University of Stockholm. Konradsberg is a name that resonates in my city’s history, because it used to be one of…

Dan Simmons’s Scientific Let-Down

Dan Simmons published a wonderful, galaxy-spanning, mind-blowing sf novel in 1989: Hyperion. Then he followed it up with three more novels of which I have read two. They’re OK, but not as good as the first book. Science fiction is of course stories where fabulous things happen and are explained by science and technology rather…

Information Longevity Talk in Gothenburg

On Tuesday 17 November 17:30 I’m giving a talk as part of Mathias Klang’s information security course at the University of Gothenburg. The theme is “Årtusendenas glömska: arkivsäkring i det riktigt långa perspektivet”, which may hint to the intelligent reader that I’ll be speaking in Swedish. I’ll cover ways that information has survived from the…